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E.W. Howell

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory has awarded a $61.8 million contract to Plainview, NY-based E.W. Howell to build the Lab‘s new Science and User Support Center (SUSC). This new facility is part of a larger effort to redevelop an existing on-site apartment area near Brookhaven Lab‘s entryway. General contractor E.W. Howell will oversee SUSC construction, planned to start in the first quarter of 2022.

With approximately 75,000 gross square feet, the SUSC will serve as a welcome center for guests, researchers, and facility users arriving at Brookhaven Lab. It will offer modern, configurable conference space for scientists to collaborate and office areas for Lab employees.

The future Science and User Support Center

The SUSC is the first building planned for Discovery Park, a new vision for the gateway to Brookhaven Lab. The concept for Discovery Park includes the potential for additional development on approximately 60 acres of previously used, publicly accessible land. The Lab is working, in coordination with DOE, on a process for developers, collaborators, and entrepreneurs to propose, build, and operate new facilities in Discovery Park. Future occupants will complement the DOE and Brookhaven Lab missions, leveraging opportunities that result from close proximity to the Laboratory. Discovery Park will offer a flexible platform to advance science and technology-based economic development for Long Island, New York State, and beyond.

Brookhaven Lab‘s 5,321-acre site is located north of the Long Island Expressway near Exit 68 and east of the William Floyd Parkway. The SUSC and Discovery Park will be built off William Floyd Parkway along the access road leading to Brookhaven Lab‘s main entrance.

The selection of E.W. Howell as general contractor follows DOE’s decision on Sept. 13, 2021, approving a total project cost of $86.2 million and awarding the Lab‘s SUSC project team with “Critical Decision Three” (CD-3). CD-3 is the fourth major milestone in DOE’s five-step project management process. The SUSC project team—comprising staff from Brookhaven Lab and the DOE’s local Brookhaven Site Office—and E.W. Howell are targeting summer 2024 for SUSC construction to be completed.

The SUSC was designed by Burns & McDonnell and Gensler, two U.S.-based international firms.

Significant investment supporting science and technology

The Science and User Support Center will serve as a welcome center for guests, researchers, and facility users arriving at Brookhaven Lab. It will offer modern, configurable conference space for scientists to collaborate and office areas for Lab employees.

“The Department of Energy’s investment in the Science and User Support Center reflects our commitment to science and technology for the nation. It represents a significant step towards moving Brookhaven National Laboratory’s outwardly facing organizations closer and more accessible to the public. DOE continues to support the SUSC to improve researchers’ access to the experts and capabilities offered at Brookhaven Lab,” said Robert Gordon, manager of DOE’s local Brookhaven Site Office.

“Awarding this contract marks a major milestone in Brookhaven Lab‘s efforts to improve experiences for staff, guests, and users, to modernize infrastructure, and increase the Laboratory’s overall impact,” said Jack Anderson, Deputy Director for Operations at the Lab. “We’re excited for the facility and for the scientific collaborations it will help facilitate.”

Future first destination for thousands of visiting scientists
More than 5,000 guests traveled to Brookhaven Lab annually in the years before the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest percentage came from institutions in New York State, but many came from across the country and around the world, attracted by the Lab‘s in-house experts and highly specialized research facilities for experiments. Those facilities include DOE Office of Science User Facilities such as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, National Synchrotron Light Source II, and Center for Functional Nanomaterials. Guests also visited—sometimes hundreds at a time—for conferences, workshops, and other events to discuss scientific results and opportunities for future research.

Because of the ongoing pandemic, research collaborations are continuing with remote access and few guests traveling to Brookhaven Lab. When it becomes safer for the Laboratory to return to more normal operations, many guests and facility users are expected to return to the Lab site. Upon completion, the SUSC will be their first destination on site upon arrival at the Laboratory.

The SUSC project is funded by the DOE Office of Science.

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit science.energy.gov.